Pop Soapbox

Pop culture news and opinions with an API slant

“Miwa: A Japanese Icon” Tonight at the Castro

In Japan, Miwa Akihiro is a household name. The 76-year-old, openly gay, bleached blonde, drag queen, actor/author/singer is a regular face on Japanese television, known for making outrageous, cutting and (sometimes) insightful comments on news and culture. In the U.S., he is known mostly known for his film roles—playing the femme fatale in Kinji Fukusaku’s […]

Fun With Marketing: Children’s Films in Japan

I’ve been thinking a lot about what Chinese consumer power is going to mean for images of Asian people in Hollywood films — (even if offending Asian Americans doesn’t effect a studio’s bottom line enough for it to be an issue, offending Chinese viewers, or the Chinese government, has real monetary consequences). I’ll probably write […]

Joi Ito Named new Director of MIT Media Lab

Pal of Ryuichi Sakamoto and all-around cool dude Joi Ito was recently named the new director of the MIT Media Lab! From the NY Times article (which I found on Boing Boing): Mr. Ito… is neither a conventional Japanese technologist, nor your average college dropout. Raised in both Tokyo and Silicon Valley, Mr. Ito was […]

Limbaugh Amused that Earthquake Hit Birthplace of Prius

Apparently, Rush’s understanding of the concept of environmentalism is that you make Mother Earth offerings of Priuses and recycled plastic in hopes she won’t smite you. Media Matters has a transcript and a quick list of some of his other absurd, unfeeling statements.

For Some, Ignorance > Compassion

Some of this stuff is tough to stomach, especially when taken in rapid-fire, so please don’t read if you don’t want to be deeply offended.  While most people have expressed compassion toward the victims of the tsunami and earthquake, there are some who thought it would make great material for jokes. For instance Gilbert Gottfried. […]

Message from George Takei on Tsunami/Earthquake

George Takei posted the following on his Website last Friday: “I extend to the people of Japan and especially to those of the Tohoku region my heartfelt sympathy and condolences in the aftermath of the devastation from the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami. The pictures we see on our television news reports are unbelievable — […]

Kanye Video a Homage to ‘Enter the Void’?

Epileptics beware. So Kanye West’s video for “All of the Lights” has more than a passing resemblance to the opening credits of Gaspar Noe’s “Enter the Void,” which was filmed in Japan with several Japanese people in the crew. Check them out for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAfFfqiYLp0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL0lNGXoP8E& Also, check out an earlier Kanye video that is […]

Kim Chee, Hapas and Heather Graham (and Hugh Jackman)

PBS has an interesting looking upcoming series, “The Kim Chee Chronicles,” about Marja Vongerichten, a hapa Korean adoptee, and her relationship with Korean food over her life. The show will take her back to her birth country, with her 3-Michelin-starred French restaurant chef husband, Jean-Georges and, for some strange reason (cough. ratings. cough.) her friends […]

“The Green Hornet”: John Cho vs. Stephen Chow vs. Jay Chou

So apparently, imdb.com couldn’t tell John Cho and Jay Chou apart and listed the former as playing Kato in ‘The Green Hornet’ on its site. I have to admit, though, as I watched the film, I initially couldn’t help but think John Cho would have been great in that role. For the first half hour of […]

Insensitive (to say the least) Groupon Ad

Damn, I really do enjoy getting a good deal, but my options are getting increasingly limited. First Target, now I can’t shop with Groupon either. I found this over at Reapproriate, where Jenn had the following to say, “This commercial is racially and culturally offensive. That is all.”

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